7 Ways to Make Extra Money in Retirement

AS man making extra money in retirement with his woodworking hobby

Running out of money in retirement is the top concern of 49% of Americans, according to AARP. The good news is that there are many ways to make extra money in retirement that can both help avoid a concerning cash crunch and extend the useful life of your retirement nest egg.  

“The best way to approach making some extra money is to consider your existing skillset and interests. You may be able to use the skills you’ve developed during your career to harness your hobbies to make some extra income,” says Baruch Sullivan, CEO and founder of The Smart Investor.

In addition to Sullivan, Lakisha Simmons, Ph.D., and financial independence consultant, and Meg Marrs, founder of Safer Senior Care, shared their thoughts on making extra money in retirement and offered these seven ideas to kick off your own thinking.

1. Rent What You Own 

Renting out your assets is a terrific way to earn extra cash, especially when it involves items you own but don’t use 100% of the time. No doubt you’re aware that you can rent out a vacation home or guesthouse. You can also find a person to share your home with through the homesharing matching service, Silvernest. Don’t use your car regularly? Rent it out.

You might be surprised by how many things you own that people want to rent from you. If you own an RV, boat, specialty equipment, or even a swimming pool, chances are there is already an online service to help connect you with potential renters.

2. Sell Your Stuff 

From valuable antiques to extra electronics, many Americans have thousands of dollars worth of unused items just sitting around their homes. If you fall into that category, you could be cashing in. This strategy comes with the added benefit of helping you remove clutter from your home.

Ebay is probably the best-known online auction site and a good way to connect with buyers across the country for a wide range of goods. If you’d prefer to sell locally, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are easy places to list your stuff for free.

But there are a host of other ways to sell your stuff online, more targeted to item type and offering alternative ways to sell. For instance, designer vintage clothing is big business these days, and multiple sites specialize in helping rehome designer duds—should you say, have a closet full of fab kaftans that haven’t seen daylight since 1973. For those who collect tech they rarely use, Decluttr buys from you, rather than requiring you to list and sell items yourself. They also deal in books, DVDs, and video games.

3. Make an Online Course

Creating an online course is a great way to offer your expertise and skillset to a broader audience. From teaching a drawing class to sharing your professional wisdom, online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and Outschool (for courses geared to children), will help you set up your course and connect with students.

Simmons recommends the online course platform Teachable, which she says can also be a valuable tool for booking consulting engagements—yet another good way to leverage your professional expertise for income.

4. Tutor Students 

For the one-on-one version of teaching what you know, consider tutoring. If you have a solid grasp of reading, writing, and arithmetic, or speak a second language, chances are there’s a youngster who could benefit from your skills and a grateful mother who will pay you for the service.

The average rate for tutoring in America can be anywhere between $25 to $80 an hour, according to tutors.com, one of the most common websites used for connecting tutors and clients.

5. Babysit or Act as a Companion

If your goal is to occasionally earn a little extra cash, rather than being locked into a schedule, babysitting and other caregiving services can be a good choice. When Marrs’ mother found herself getting bored with retirement living, she decided to put her life experience to work. “She offered companion services to other seniors and personal assistant services,” says Marrs.  

The world of personal assistants and companions offers many different types of helpers, from high-pressure, always-on positions to low-key, now-and-then affairs. A bit of research can help you identify what kinds of help you’d be willing or able to offer. TaskRabbit lets you advertise and price your services for people in your area. If you prefer the idea of babysitting, Care.com will check your background and vet you, in addition to listing your services to make families feel safe when connecting with new sitters.

6. Pet Sit 

People aren’t the only ones who need looking after. If you enjoy animals, offering to pet sit by spending time with indoor pets, feeding them, and/or walking them for a fee can be a way to enjoy the companionship of a pet without being responsible for them 24/7. Online services like Petsitter.com can help you connect with local pet owners and offer services that work for your schedule.

7. Sell Real Estate 

Many retirees have friends who are also entering or preparing for retirement and are looking to downsize or move. By becoming a real estate agent, you could earn a commission by helping people you know move into new homes. The barrier to entry to become an agent is low, requiring a licensing class and broker sponsor to begin a new career that has the potential to generate some cash, even on a part-time basis. 

Retirement can be one of the best times of your life. Still, it will be much more enjoyable if you have the resources to do the things you’ve been looking forward to. Earning extra money in retirement can be a fun, relatively stress-free way to extend your savings and enhance your social life.  

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